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Afield and Afloat

NEBRASKAland Magazine staff will share their experiences in Nebraska’s great outdoors, reveal what goes into producing the magazine, and toss in the occasional photo tip, ideas on where to go, and what to do outside.

Spring Brings the Call of the Crane

Cranes landing on the Platte River at sunset near North Platte.

The spring migration has begun when the unique and primeval call of the sandhill crane is heard; it is one that captures our attention and curiosity. Standing four-foot tall these prehistoric birds travel through Nebraska as part of their migration from summering areas in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico to their nesting areas in the upper United States, Canada and as far North as Siberia. In the Central Flyway, Nebraska is one of the few places left for the 500,000-plus ... Read More »

Nebraska Turkeys Heading to Montana

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CHADRON — In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Nebraska reintroduced wild turkeys from other states to its landscape after the big birds had been extirpated decades earlier during the nation’s westward expansion. The reintroduction was so successful that turkeys have again become common border-to-border and Nebraska is now able to return the favor to another state. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission led an effort this week to trap wild turkeys on a ranch near Whiteclay in northern Sheridan ... Read More »

Clear Creek WMA Provides Outdoor Opportunities

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Clear Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) offers a great public area to hunt – located near Lewellen the WMA is a short travel distance for those in central and southwest Nebraska and a go-to destination for others. The area is owned by Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District and encompasses more than 6,200 acres of land and water depending on lake elevation. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) leases this area for wildlife management and public use access. ... Read More »

First Day Hike at Ponca State Park

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Ponca State Park is offering a healthy start to your new year with a “First Day Hike”. Guests are welcome to take part in unguided hikes or in a scavenger hunt-style hike. Scavenger hunt forms can be picked up at the Resource and Education Center. At 1:30 p.m., join park naturalists for a guided hike on Bigley’s Ravine Trail. Participants should dress accordingly and bring a water bottle, camera and/or binoculars. At the conclusion of the hike, stop in at ... Read More »

Hunting Nebraska’s Reservoirs

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Big water reservoirs are often hunted by Nebraska Game and Parks commissioner Lynn Berggren along with family and friends. Commissioners Berggren, Jerrod Burke and Norris Marshall along with Burke’s son Logan, and Berggren’s sons Kevin and Pat and grandson Kaleb were all out waterfowl hunting this past month – making lasting memories and enjoying morning sunrises. Part of hunting is spending time with family and friends, chasing sunrises and sunsets and enjoying time spent together in the field or on ... Read More »

Family Muzzleloader Deer Hunt in Northeast NE

The Luther family (Todd, Chase, Stacy and Brady) with Stacy's first deer.

On the weekend of December 6 -7, the Luther family from Omaha and the Netherton family from Fairbury traveled to Knox County to deer hunt for the first time. The muzzleloader doe hunt took place on the Jessen Ranch near Center. Leased by Chris Edwards of Big Red Outdoors, Edwards offered to open up his lease for this two-day hunt. Husband and wife Todd and Stacy Luther brought their 11-year-old son Chase and 10-year-old son Brady, while Troy and Paula ... Read More »

Panhandle Passages: Christmastime at Fort Robinson

A lighted version of the park's iconic stagecoach adorns the grounds. (NEBRASKAland/Justin Haag)

It usually takes some prodding to get me into the holiday spirit. I’m much more inclined to get excited about the arrival of ice for fishing this time of year than the coming of Santa Claus and his reindeer. Thanks to one event this season, though, I moved the needle a little closer to the “St. Nicked” side of the holiday excitement meter from its position at “Scrooged.” My wife and I attended Fort Robinson State Park’s annual Christmas dinner ... Read More »

A Western Nebraska Hunt for a Westerner

Johnny Barta with ram

CRAWFORD – In order to find success, one hunter this week made the 430-mile journey from Western, Nebraska, to Western Nebraska. Yes, you read that right. Johnny Barta, a big game hunter from Western, Nebraska (the village near Fairbury, not the region), visited the butte country of western Nebraska (the region, not the village) to fill the state’s lone bighorn sheep tag. His hunt ended successfully at noon Tuesday, Dec. 9, when he bagged a trophy ram at Fort Robinson ... Read More »

Christmas Bird Count at Ponca State Park

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Join Ponca State Park for the Annual Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 14. Experienced and novice birders, nature enthusiasts, and families are invited to participate in this 115-year-old tradition sponsored by the National Audubon Society. Guests are advised to dress accordingly and to bring their binoculars and bird books. The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the Missouri National Recreational River Resource and Education Center. A chili feed will be offered at noon amid counting. This event is ... Read More »